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Date: March 2nd 1915
Newspaper Article

[Published in The Daily Colonist newspaper of Victoria, British Columbia, on March 2nd, 1915]


First Officer From Victoria to Die for Empire – Was Most Popular and Showed Great Promise.

It was with great regret that the news was received on Sunday of the death of Lieutenant Herbert Boggs, son of Mr. Beaumont Boggs, of this city. A cable dated at Hazebrouek, France, was sent by Col. Currie, who commands the 2nd Infantry Brigade stating that Lieut. Boggs was instantly killed on Saturday night.

Last night Mr. Beaumont Boggs received a wire from the Adjutant-General, Ottawa, as follows: “Deeply regret to inform you Lieut. Herbert Boggs killed in action February 26. The official notices of casualties are sent from the department of the Adjutant-General.

For the first time since the war started has the real shadow of it fallen on Victoria, as Herbert Boggs is the first of her native sons to be killed in action. He was born in Victoria on July 28, 1892, and lived in the city up to the time he left for the front. It was after his entry into the High School that he showed an inclination for military life by joining the High School Cadets and from that time he was always active in some branches of military work. When the 88th Fusiliers was formed in September 1912, he joined the regiment as a provisional lieutenant, obtaining his commission on the 16th of that month. In August 1913, on the occasion of the riots in Nanaimo, he was on duty in that neighbourhood for about six weeks; then, in the absence of Major de Salis, he assumed command of B Company in Victoria till the end of the year, conducting his duties in a most successful manner.

Meanwhile, he was making splendid progress in the study of law under Mr. A.S. Innes, showing considerable skill as a debater. Socially, he was known and most popular all over Victoria. In athletics he distinguished himself in swimming and in football, playing fullback for the Law Students.

As soon as volunteers were called for the first contingent, Herbet Boggs responded and was one of the first subalterns chosen for active service. In the months of training that followed he was most assiduous and cheerful in his duties, ambitious to succeed, he neglected nothing that would make him and efficient officer, yet with his attention to duty and discipline he never lost the affection and respect of his subordinates. He left the city with the first battalion as junior lieutenant in No. 1 company, under Captain Cooper, and went with the first contingent from Valcartier to Salisbury Plain. There he did so well that, on the eve of departure for France, he was promoted to the command of a platoon; in his last letter to his mother he spoke of his promotion and expressed hopes of future success.

He had made many friends in Victoria, and Major Rous Cullin spoke of him yesterday in very warm terms, saying: “Herbert Boggs was a second edition of his father, and it would be no exaggeration to say that I had the highest opinion of him as a man and an officer. He was keen, hardworking and a boy of tremendous promise and his character was one on which any young officer might well model himself. I can scarcely realize it. He was so young, not yet 23. It seems very hard that he should be killed almost directly he set foot on the field of battle, with his ambition so strong and life so full of promise. He was liked not by his fellow officers alone; he was also popular in the ranks, for the reason that while he never overlooked the value of discipline, neither did he forget the strength of justice nor did he ever take undue advantage of his position as an officer. No soldier under his command ever forgot that Herbert Boggs was an officer, nor did he regret it.”

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